ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras plans to present new proposals to European leaders Tuesday, after the country rejected the austere bailout terms offered by its creditors in a referendum during the weekend.
The Eurogroup of finance ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss the situation and leaders of the 19-country eurozone, which all use the euro currency, will then hold an emergency summit to discuss how to respond.
Greece’s plan is said to include a demand for the country’s debt to be cut by up to 30%, with a 20-year grace period, according to the BBC.
Speaking ahead of the summit, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said “the ball is most definitely in the court of the Greek government.”
In a statement, he said the commission is ready to do “everything to get to an agreement within an acceptable time frame.”
“We don’t want Greece out of the Eurozone or the European Union, and we will continue to work on the reopening of negotiations,” he added.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the basis of a deal exists. “The French government will do everything to keep Greece in the eurozone,” he told RTL radio. “France is convinced we cannot take the risk to let Greece exit the eurozone.”
Asian markets were mixed ahead of the meetings. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1.3% to close at 20,376.59 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 1%. The Shanghai composite dropped 1.3% despite official efforts to shore up Chinese shares, which have fallen nearly 30% after peaking on June 2.
U.S. stock futures were higher, with the Dow gaining 0.2%, the S&P 500 0.2% and the Nasdaq 0.1%.
The main European markets were lower Tuesday — Germany’s DAX dropped 0.3%, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.5% and Britain’s FTSE 100 index lost 0.1%. The Athens stock exchange will stay closed until Wednesday.
The euro fell 1.2% to $1.0928.
In the referendum Sunday, 61.3% of voters rejected demands for further austerity measures by the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission.
The outlook for Greece remains unclear amid fears it could be forced to leave the eurozone if it can’t negotiate a way to repay $3.9 billion in debts. The European Central Bank on Monday said it can’t increase the amount of emergency credit that it provides to Greek banks.
Banks have been closed for a week, with strict limits on daily ATM withdrawals, and will stay closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Germany’s EU commissioner said he was optimistic that Euclid Tsakalotos, Greece’s new finance minister, could help negotiations after the resignation of the previous finance minister,Yanis Varoufakis, whose confrontational style had alienated European finance ministers,
Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told Deutschlandfunk radio Tuesday that Tsakalotos “doesn’t have the same attitude as his predecessor. He knows the figures, the facts, he knows our reform proposals … and he knows that we are flexible,” the Associated Press reported.
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